Ancient Civ.



Your overall course grade will be determined by your performance on quizzes, three interpretive essays, and two in-class exams.

Your grade for the course will be determined from the following:

Interpretive Essays (3) 30%
Final Exam35%


We’ll have short, timed, in-person quizzes at the start of some classes to help gauge our relationship with the material in the readings.

Quizzes take place at the start of class, right at 3 p.m., so it is important to arrive on time and prepared.

Content. Quizzes are based on the material you’ve prepared for that class, including:

  • the textbook assignment for that meeting as listed in the Schedule, and
  • the assigned section from Gilgamesh or Clouds for that meeting if any.

If you did your reading for the class, you should be prepared for the quiz. Quizzes are always based on the materials assigned for that class meeting, even if I am slightly behind the syllabus in class. Make sure to always do the assigned readings.

Missed quizzes are not made up. If you miss a quiz, you’ll get a zero for that quiz. Therefore, please make sure you are prepared each week and take the quiz.

Interpretive Essays (3)

You’ll write three interpretive essays, as follows:

  • One on the portrayal of society or religion in The Epic of Gilgamesh;
  • One on Clouds and its relationship with actual events in classical Athens; and
  • A response to your choice of nonwritten artistic depictions of the ancient world, including sculpture, painting, performance, or film, comparing the history that’s come down to us with how it has been represented.

Details are on the Essays page. For how I grade written assignments, see the Requirements for All Papers page.

Optional Draft. You can submit a draft of the paper to me up to a week before it’s due; I’ll give you some general feedback (but not a grade). Because I accept drafts, I do not allow students to submit revised versions of their final paper after the due date. To make sure I see it soonest, please email me your optional draft rather than uploading it to BlackBoard.


You will take two in-person exams, one midway through the course and one at the end of the semester.

  • Midterm exam. The midterm will cover the course up to that point. We’ll discuss the content and structure the previous week, and a review sheet will be provided. The exam take place during our regular class meeting on the day indicated on the schedule.
  • Final exam. The final will cover from the midterm onward—except for the essay portion, which will cover themes from the entire course. We’ll discuss the content and structure the week before the final, and a review sheet will be provided. The final exam lasts two hours and will take place on the day designated by the registrar’s office.

Review materials for the exams will be posted on the Exams page close to the exam dates.